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Home Renovation Basics

How to Plan and What to Consider Before Renovating Your House


Home renovation is a huge project that starts simple. You peel back a corner of carpeting on Saturday morning, and a lightbulb goes off in your head: Why not refinish these hardwood floors?

Six months later, that mere refinishing project has led to torn-down walls, pried-up floorboards, and decommissioned bedrooms. But the flip side of this is you eventually end up with a gorgeous, refinished house for a fraction of the cost it would have cost to buy a new house.

Consider these 7 points before picking up that hammer or calling the contractor.

1. Decide if You Will Do the Home Renovation Yourself or Hire Professionals

You will either hire out the work to professionals, do it yourself, or some combination of the two. Professionals range from expensive contractors to sub-contractors and handymen you find through word-of-mouth or through classified ads. Since not all home renovation projects are created equally, you will want to consider on a case-by-case basis whether you are capable of taking on the home renovation project yourself or whether you wish to hire professionals.

2. Formulate a Plan for Funding Your Home Renovation

Your home remodeling project will cost you more than you care to know. So, it's best to come up with a range of funding options. Your choice of funding options may range from simple sweat equity on up to the traditional home equity loan.

3. Consider What Resale Value Your Home Renovations Will Have

Nowadays, the majority of American homeowners sell their house at least once. Gone are the days when homeowners rode out their 30 year mortgage to the end. Not only are you renovating your house for you, but also for future buyers.

4. Become Comfortable With Managing Contractors and Work Crews

Notwithstanding your rock-solid decision to do it all yourself, you will inevitably find yourself hiring someone to help. You will need to know how to manage work crews.

5. Develop a Plan for Saving on Home Remodeling Costs

Designers' fees...contractors' commissions, The Home Depot credit cards: home remodeling seems designed to drain your piggybank as fast as possible. But there are tried and true ways to save on home remodeling costs, on everything from kitchen to bathroom.

6. Think Ahead to Permit and Zoning Issues

Building permits take notoriously long to get approved. Electrical permits and permits for demolition or fences may not take more than a few days, but large-scale projects involving zoning, like building a home addition, may take many weeks or months.

7. Know that Safety and Cleanliness Can Turn a Bad Home Remodeling Project Into a Good Home Remodeling Project

It's good to consider things like lead-based paint before sanding down that 80 year-old hand-railing. Avoiding mess when painting your house interior is just as important as developing a plan for keeping out dust from clean areas of your house.
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